After Milo Yiannopoulos’ scheduled appearance Feb. 1 incited violent demonstrations that led UCPD to cancel the event, Berkeley College Republicans is communicating with Yiannopoulos to potentially make plans for the controversial Breitbart speaker’s return to campus.
Yiannopoulos announced on his Facebook page Feb. 4 that he intended to speak again at UC Berkeley within the coming months. Since Feb 1., BCR has reached out to members of Yiannopoulos’ team through phone and email, discussing with them potential plans to bring the speaker back to campus, according to BCR communications director Troy Worden.
“The outcome of the Feb. 1 event was not ideal,” Worden said. “If Milo returned, we would take all necessary measures to make sure his returning to campus would (be) a success.”
Although the Office of Student Affairs has been communicating with BCR, the campus is not aware of any invitations that have been extended to Yiannopoulos up until this point, according to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof.
“If and when they decide to extend an invitation, at that point the university will examine a wide range of options that will allow us to continue to support the First Amendment rights of all of our community members as well as provide for the safety and security of our students and the public at large,” Mogulof said.
Conservative radio show host Alex Jones said on air when he spoke with Yiannopoulos Feb. 6 that he also intends to speak on campus, potentially at the same time as Yiannopoulos. Yiannopoulos added that there would be a yet-to-be-revealed “special guest” present at the event.
UCPD is working with other campus stakeholders to “ensure the campus is prepared if Milo Yiannopoulos is invited to speak on campus again,” said UCPD spokesperson Sabrina Reich. Worden declined to comment on what safety precautions they might enforce in the event that Yiannopoulos comes back to campus.
Damage to the campus was estimated to have cost approximately $100,000, according to a UC Berkeley press release. The money covered the cost to repair windows at the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building, replace a generator that caught fire and was destroyed, sandblast the paint off the concrete steps of the Student Union and remove graffiti, the release said.
UCPD arrested one suspect at the Wednesday night protests and an additional two suspects in an unrelated incident Thursday morning.
Worden declined to comment on which precautions BCR might take in the event that Yiannopoulos comes back to campus.
BCR will reach out to Yiannopoulos’ team again in the future, according to Worden. On Tuesday, members of BCR will meet with campus administration to discuss “what we have learned from last time” and to address concerns from faculty members who signed a petition requesting the cancellation of the event, according to BCR member Naweed Tahmas.
“Milo said publicly early March seems to be a likely time for his return,” Worden said. “But again, nothing is set in stone.”